Wall Street rises on trade war truce; industrials lead

22 May, 2018, 09:43 | Author: Martin Tyler
  • Trader Lauren Simons works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross planned to go to China, Mnuchin and Kudlow said.

Wheat bound for overseas pours into the holds of a ship at the Port of Portland. In a joint statement released by the White House, China said it agreed to "meaningful increases in USA agriculture and energy exports" with details to be worked out later.

China promised to "substantially reduce the United States trade deficit in goods with China": The US runs a $375 billion annual goods trade deficit with China, its largest such imbalance with any country.

"We are putting the trade war on hold", Mnuchin said on "Fox News Sunday".

China's state-run news agency Xinhua quoted Vice Premier Liu He, who led Chinese negotiators in trade talks in Washington, as saying, "The two sides reached a consensus, will not fight a trade war, and will stop increasing tariffs on each other".

Philip Levy, senior fellow on the global economy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, tells VOA that while the US and China have for now avoided a tariff war, the outcome of the trade talks remains unclear.

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President Donald Trump on Monday touted the outlines of an agreement between the U.S. and China to reduce trade tensions between the two countries, painting the agreement as a major win for the US.

Trump tweeted Monday: "China has agreed to buy massive amounts of ADDITIONAL Farm/Agricultural Products - would be one of the best things to happen to our farmers in many years!" He said the agreement could result in doubling sales of US energy products, which Mnuchin said could mean an increase in sales of USA energy products by $50 billion to $60 billion over the next three to five years.

"They failed to drill down on the biggest frictions facing USA businesses and on those where we are most able to move the Chinese", said Mary Lovely, a Syracuse University economist who specializes in trade.

Xi Jinping's government did not, however, commit to reducing its trade surplus with the U.S.by any set figure, or to take any specific action to address America's complaints about its intellectual property practices.

Analysts said the talks may have helped to ease tensions at least slightly between the world's two biggest economic powers.

In a statement Saturday, the two countries made no mention of those underlying American complaints. Beijing said that it agreed to significantly increase its purchases of American goods and services, including energy and agricultural commodities. The U.S. said it would send a team to China to work out the details.

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If China were to fill every drop of uncontracted LNG with US gas, that would amount to about $20 billion a year in purchases by 2030. But neither LNG nor ethanol, which also stands to benefit from a trade truce, would provide a big enough export boost reduce the deficit by $200 billion a year, according to Height. He will plant the crop across about 400 acres in about three weeks, hoping that China resumes US imports soon after ending its anti-dumping probe.

Beijing has been pressing during the trade talks for Washington to lift the ban, which the company says has brought its factories to a standstill.

President Donald Trump is threatening the tariff hike over complaints Beijing steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology.

Trump campaigned in 2016 on a pledge to get tough on China and other US trading partners.

Lighthizer last summer began investigating Beijing's tactics to challenge USA technological dominance.

Among those unable to celebrate the apparent trade truce were metal stocks that had stood to gain from reduced Chinese imports: AK Steel fell 5.1 percent and US Steel sank 3.8 percent.

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